In the end, a car only moderately different from its predecessor
by Wallace Wyss –
We are used to Detroit automakers lately making the noise with the horsepower, particularly in Dodges. Now it’s like Ferrari couldn’t take it anymore—they have in the new Ferrari 812 Superfast announced an engine with 800 Horses, more, I think, than Detroit is currently offering on any of their mass produced musclecars.
Ferrari’s latest will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds and have a top speed of over 340 km/h.
At first glance, stylistically, the Ferrari 812 Superfast seems but a further development of the last model, the F12TDF, which came from the F12 Berlinetta.
So the big news is the engine, a 6.5 liter V8, which achieves its 800 Horses at 8500 RPM resulting in a specific 123 horsepower per liter. Ferrari promises the maximum torque arrives at 718 Nm and almost all is available from as low as 3500 rpm.
One change that Detroit is already using but will now be in Ferraris is a Ferrari EPS (Electric Power Steering) system, electric power steering. Plus, so all that power doesn’t get away from you, Ferrari’s patented Side Slip Control.
Ferrari acknowledged in their press release that the car has a fastback design already seen in the previous F12 Berlinetta and F12TDF, but they are claiming the new design has “a vague memory at Ferrari 365 GTB4” with what they call “pure homage of 1969 the trim tail view.”
Interior improvements include new seats, a new steering wheel and new instruments.
There are no driving reports out yet but it ought to be a good handler, with weight distribution is 47% front and 53% rear.
Not having seen it in person, I submit, for some preliminary information, some comments based on photographs.
FRONT The grille cavity seems to be lower than in the Tdf, at least if you compare the two side by side. The pressure of having totally functional aero is influencing design more and more –aesthetics being sacrificed to efficiency–and the presence of aero aids has shaped the nose, which incorporates a cluster of aerodynamic solutions including active flaps at the front of the underbody.
REAR I have to say that the two taillights per side in the back are dark, and disappointing, as if they are “hiding” in the shadows. They seem to be more akin to those in the 308GTB.
Also I wonder if the standard exhausts are getting “old hat” when other luxury automakers are having custom made exhaust tips, as another excuse to add bling (see Bentley EXP10 Speed Six concept and many new Mercedes models now on the market).
In their press release they say the rear flank features an unprecedented aerodynamic by-pass to increase downforce, but I guess we will have to wait until the Geneva show to get the details on actual pounds exerted when the system is activated.
SIDE The Ferrari 812 Superfast is strong on side sculpturing, but we hope that all those dips and swoops are with a purpose, the air flowing over the car being directed purposefully rather than, say, the side sculpturing on a Buick Cascada (which does, I have to say, have interesting body surfacing) which I wager is primarily “eye candy.”
Ferrari makes much in their press release of the emphasis on the wheelwells, as if to say that is what made the Ferraris of the ‘60s and ‘70s so memorable.
In the Ferrari 812 Superfast interior, there main effort is to make the main elements “seem to float” (their words). There’s horizontal dash loops stylishly around the central air vents for a different look. They describe the new seats as “sporty and ergonomic” (can you be both?) and boasts of new infotainment and air-conditioning units.
IN SUM…Ferrari 812 Superfast We can always use a new Ferrari model to brighten the horizon. In a way, I think it was wise they left the TDF behind, because with its diagonal side vent, and its 275 Comp-style rear fender slashes, it was borrowing a little too many design cues from celebrated ‘60s models and in one picture found on the net, looked remarkably in side view like the current Corvette!
Let us know what you think in the Comments.
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is a fine artist. He is still working on the painting below, but those interested can write him to ask about availability of prints. He can be reached at Photojournalistpro@gmail.com.